Alex Trapani Neither art nor art 2016 | Art.co.za | Art in South Africa
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Neither art nor art 2016

Masters Exhibition | Unisa Art Gallery

ascending and descending

ascending and descending 2016
Video Performance
Shot by Mark Fegen

The artist repeatedly climbs up and down each side of a plinth. This Sisyphean act is a comment on the artist's "worthiness" of the art establishment. This behaviour, although absurd, is indicative of the lengths to which the artist will go in order to gain significance in the art world. However, every ascent is followed by a descent. An interrogation of the artist's worth is at play. Is it the artist's aspirations and dedication to his/her efforts, or is it the levels of exposed fallibility and desperate repetition, which will hopefully lead to the achievement of notoriety?



cutting corners

cutting corners 2016
Video Performance
Shot by Mark Fegen

The artist incessantly removes the four corners from the top of a plinth, which is a symbol of the art establishment. The activity of cutting corners to succeed in the art world is contrasted with the sustained efforts of the artist in achieving this goal. A paradox exists between the path to success and the hard work in taking short cuts to get there. The determined behaviour of the artist, performed upon the chosen symbol, accentuates the duty of the artist to his craft and faithfulness to the establishment regardless of the discomfort it results in.



wet behind the ears and wet feet

wet behind the ears and wet feet 2016
Video Performance
Shot by Mark Fegen

The artist performs rudimentary idiomatic actions. The contrast between getting one’s feet wet, actively gaining some experience in art, and being wet behind the ears, being immature and inexperienced in art, is evident simultaneously. This contrast accentuates the anxieties about the artist’s position in the practices of art. The artist is simultaneously experienced, yet inexperienced, evident in every new project embarked on. This can be confounding and is conceptually continued through the discomfort of having wet oneself for the sake of art, or simply in the discomfort of having wet ears.

water falls and water ascends

water falls and water ascends 2016
Video Performance
Shot by Mark Fegen

The artist is contrasted with a moving ladder. The close up shot of the artist’s mouth and beard, where water falls down beyond the picture frame, is indicative of the artist as an object that allows movement. The continuous flow of water represents the unceasing dedication to art, yet it has a sense of the unconscious action, such as the incessant drooling of someone in psychosis. The ladder, an instrument of ascent and descent, is denied part of its function as the water continues to climb. It represents the artist’s desire to never have to come down.



9 desaturated photographs 2016
Photographic print series
Shot by Mark Fegen



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